Monday, September 8, 2014

Update September 9, 2014: Bleed Blue!

Week 29

Aloha Everyone!

Another week past here in the Hawaiian Islands. The heat hasn’t let up yet but there is hope on the horizon. This week as been a roller coaster for myself. I have learned a lot thought about what I need to work on. But there is excitement!!!!!!! BYU SMASHED Texas!!!! 41-7 and is ranked 25th! And moving up! And Taysom is looking like the next Heisman!  (Just thought I would throw that in thereJ)

Monday was Labor Day so we spent the day at the chapel playing basketball and taking turns on the computer to email since the library was closed. We ended up playing for almost 8 hours straight! We were all wiped by the end of the day!

Tuesday was a good day we had a zone meeting in the morning then Elder Ngutuvai and I ran to Honolulu to grab some things while Elder Buckley and Hansen did a Baptismal interview. We then met with Sheryl and Jack and worked through some things to prepare her for Baptism. We also had dinner with the Valdez family and they cooked up an amazing feast of Tongan food. It was soo good!

Thursday Elder Hansen and I were together on exchange and had a really good day. We had Sheryl’s Baptismal interview and she’s ready! We are so excited for her! We also played basketball at the chapel with the Kapolei ward and a lot of investigators came! Hansen and I’s team ran the table! 7-0! It was awesome but then I was so tired!Inline image 2
Elder Hansen, Jack, and I with Jack's newest puppies!
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Friday we saw Kaleo again and it went really well. They wanted to watch “Son of God” so we figured it was alright and were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to them and the movie lead perfectly into our discussion of the Atonement. A super solid lesson! 

Saturday we had a GIANT luau for a grad party for a kid in our ward that was postponed due to the hurricane. It was awesome with awesome food and entertainment! Hawaii knows how to throw a party!

Sunday we had a musical fireside that was put on by the Palehua ward that was super good. There is a family from the Honolulu Tongan ward that I knew that came to sing. They are very well known. Its 5 sisters the oldest is 16 the youngest is 8 and they sign a cappella and it’s incredible! Look them up! THE TONGA SISTERS! They brought the spirit and it was sooo strong!

This week I am just amazed at how much the lord loves us and how much he looks after us. We are blessed to have a father in heaven that looks over us. He is always there and he continues to love us regardless of what we do. I have seen his influence in my life every day. I am going through a hard time right now and really learning a lot and having my pride checked and even in the hardest times I still know he’s there. He lets us have these trials so that we can learn and grow. And he will help us. All we have to do is ask. Let your pride go. Give yourself up. Get on your knees and ask for his help. I know he will come. It may not be immediately but he will and it will probably be though the help of another. I found this and am trying to apply it to my life and hope you can yours.

“May I share with you a formula that in my judgment will help you and help me to journey well through mortality... First, fill your mind with truth; second, fill your life with service; and third, fill your heart with love.”
-Thomas S. Monson

I know as we fight through our daily trials we have our burdens eased.
  “And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.”
-Mosiah 24:14

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and all is well. I love you all and miss everyone. I hope that this means as much to you as it does to me.

With love,

Elder Shoaf

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Update September 1, 2014: Creepin' and Crawlin'

Week 28

Aloha Everyone! 

Another jam packed week her in Kalaeloa! its crazy how fast time flys! the fire is officially out! but it did some damage before it was out. but mostly just foliage. no houses that i know of. this whole week was a week of prep and restart. Wednesday marked the end of another transfer here. elder Buckley and i are the same but we did lose elder Nielsen and Elder Dorff went home. and elder Holy oak came in. so we are back to a 4 man pad. elder holy oak is great i served with him in Honolulu.

Not much exciting happened this week and i have very little time to work with so i will keep it short. the major highlights of this week are first one of our investigators is ready for baptism! her and her husband live with our ward mission leader and we stopped by one day and she said she wanted to be baptized on Sept. 20th! so we are moving forward with and hopefully all will go well! other highlights include. service at a reservation in Makaha and we found this beautiful spider that we later learned was a garden spider. but we picked him  up and it was sooo cool and beautiful! i will attach picture and send a video if i can! he was our little buddy for the day and cruised on top of my hat for about an hour. we named him Tommy boy! haha 
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This week was crazy and HOT! i thought it was suppose to be fall? anyway i also hit 7 months on Friday. next thing i know ill be over the hump and on the way down! i cant believe it is going so fast and i am taking every chance to learn and grow and do all i can. on Monday we had another tragic death the bishop of the Kapolei ward passed away in less than 24 hours of going to the hospital not feeling well. he was an inspiration to everyone around him and was such an influence in the community. i will keep it short im out of time. i challenge you all to take advantage of every opportunity you have. this life is short. take advantage of it to the fullest. 
i hope you all had a wonderful labor day and have a great week. 

Love you all!

Elder Shoaf

Pictures August 26, 2014

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Elder Reis from "the District"
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Makakilo Zone Conference
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My Tongan crew "Da crew" from Honolulu

Update August 26, 2014: Fire on the Horizon

Week 27

Aloha Everyone!
      Wow. I knew we were in the month of August but I forgot what that meant since I came out here…. There was a visitor in our ward this week and we were talking about USU football and he said “yeah I think they will be down here in like 2 weeks to play UH” and I thought no football doesn’t start till like august and September we still have a few months… then I realized that we are already there. And that high school football has already started… THAT’S NUTS!!!! But that’s just one example of how FAST time flies here on a mission! I’ve been here 7 months this week!!!!!!
        Anyway, it’s been another busy, jam-packed week here in Kalaeloa. And yes there was fire!!!! We had a HUGE Wildfire this week. It started Tuesday and they are just now getting it under control! There have been fire trucks everywhere and about 6 choppers with water buckets flying back and forth from the fire to the ocean! It has burned almost all of the wooded area above Makakilo and is still smoldering! But no danger to us or anyone in Makakilo just a few cabins up there. And it was started by a little kid with a lighter…. Ha
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                Monday was another basketball filled P-day with lots of fun!
      Tuesday was Zone conference and it was super good! We learned a lot and everyone had really good insights then we were trained by Elder Reis who basically runs the English speaking dept. of the Provo MTC and he was a missionary when they filmed all the “The District” Training DVDs so he’s kind of a rock star in the mission world. And his family is in our ward!
      Wednesday was a day packed full of visiting members and investigators. Then for dinner a Less-active member we met at Walmart Monday took us to Outback! It was an amazing dinner! And he’s related to the Unga’s I played with at BYU! Small world!
        Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Nagutvai who is actually cousins with one of the guys I played with at BYU. Again. Small world!
             Friday was probably our slowest day but we were still out and about visiting families.
                Saturday we spent most of the day helping a family in the Palehua ward move. They are so awesome! And Brother Willis is retired Navy and now works as a diplomat for the US Government! Friday night he got back from Nepal! He has been to almost every major country in the world! As his job! Crazy! And he had some pretty cool stories!
              Sunday was a great day as well. We learned that Elder Buckley and I are both staying! So we are gearing up from the start of the new transfer tomorrow.

               Then yesterday was packed full! We went to the Honolulu Zoo as a zone and were highly entertained by the Gibbons. They were cracking us up! We then went and crashed Honolulu’s Zone activity and got to see everyone. I miss Honolulu sooo much! Best zone ever!!! Haha we then headed back to Makakilo where we met the rest of the Zone at the Stake center to play basketball and volleyball. Overall a fantastic end/start to a week!

                The thought I have this week comes from our lesson in Elder Quorum on Sunday. Our elder’s quorum president, Brother Latimer, taught and shared a quote by his super great grandpa who is a pretty well-known religious leader in the 1500s in England named Hugh Latimer. And the quote is;
And now I would ask a strange question: who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England that passeth all the rest in doing his office? I can tell for I know him who it is; I know him well. But now I think I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you: it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other; he is never out of his diocese; he is never from his cure; ye shall never find him unoccupied; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way, call for him when you will he is ever at home; the diligentest preacher in all the realm; he is ever at his plough; no lording nor loitering can hinder him; he is ever applying his business, ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of poperyHe is ready as he can be wished for to set forth his plough; to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory...O that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel.

         I really liked that quote and how true is it. Brother Latimer then went on to tell us that we are the ones the devil is going after. The ones who are doing the right. The ones who are trying to live a righteous life. Those that are trying to do good. He then went on to explain how this is why we always feel like trials or bad luck come at the wrong time. It’s because the devil put it there! At the time! When we are furthering the lord’s work when we are turning to the lord. Satan doesn’t want us to so he’s throwing everything he has at us.

That’s why when we see others who don’t do the things their supposed to or just cruise and don’t care and we think they have it “easier” or “better” it’s because they do. They devil doesn’t have to pursue them they are already where he wants them. Sliding down hill. The devil is going after those that are trying to climb to the top, those trying to return to live with our heavenly father. He will do anything he can to stop us.

This really hit me. I have always felt “woah is me” why do I have it so hard? Why do all of these people around me have it so much easier? Now I know. I took it upon myself to change my mind set and to look at these trials that we all face as accomplishments. And think “well I must be doing something right!” it has really changed my perspective about this life and about the trials we go through. I embrace my challenges and look forward to the challenge. Because it makes the reward that much sweeter. Think about hard practices in sports. I HATE conditioning like with a passion! But I always feel the best after the hardest practices. I feel accomplished. I feel like I’ve made a difference and then to see that hard work manifest on the field when the other team who “had it easier” because they didn’t have to condition are the ones who are struggling when it really matter, the ones who lose in the end. And how sweet is the joy when you hold that trophy afterwards!

I challenge you to relate this to your lives. To see trials as your conditioning and to see it as an opportunity to grow. This has changed how I look at everything and think how great it will be to be numbered in the kingdom of Our Father in Heaven and be victorious over the devil.

I hope everyone has a great week and hope you see the good in life and remember that the immediate happiness is nothing in comparison to the eternal happiness and glory we will have in our heavenly father’s Kingdom.
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I love you all so much!
Elder Shoaf